Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fat Quarter Bag

Another stash busting project completed!! Just a small bag that will hold a small knitting project.  Seems like I never have enough bags or maybe I have too many projects!  I used the pattern I found here.  It's a quick project and makes good use of the fat quarters that are stacking up around here.  The instructions were well written and there are great illustrations included for us visual learners.  Check it out.  This would be a really easy gift for all your knitting friends. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jar Quilts

Just a bit of stash busting that I would like to repeat. This is a sample jar quilt I made to try out an idea I saw on Pinterest.  I used a strip quilting technique using a muslin backing with a light batting and stitching down the strips, quilting as you go.  I did add a few quilting lines for accents.  The buttons are closed with loops of elastic stitched into the bias trim.  I am sure I have a stash of fat quarters that would make a whole set of these cute jar quilts.  One set for the kitchen to hold everything from coffee beans to sugar cubes and one set for the sewing room to organize all those little accessories that are waiting for the perfect project.  This sample was sized to fit a pint jar but you could use any size jar so I guess that makes this a good recycling project too.  You could paint the jar lids to coordinate with the fabrics you choose. Lots of ideas to expand on this project idea when I have more time. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bicycle Pillows

Stash busting has been slowed down due to "life" happening.  I have managed to make some pillows form an original drawing by Sylvia that I have converted into machine embroidery using the software for my Viking Husqvarna embroidery machine.  I think they turned out really cute with the addition of some freestyle hand embroidered flowers in the baskets.  The additions of the flowers makes each pillow unique.  The linen look fabrics are from my stash, so there is a little bit of stash busting going on.  Now we need to find a gift store near a bike trail that would like to carry our bicycle themed creations.  When our girls were growing up we spent many weekends camping near our favorite bike trails in Minnesota and Wisconsin and riding our bikes so this theme brings back many memories.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Busy Bag #3

They just keep coming around here. This bag literally cost me $1. I got some paint swatches with perforated circles you could punch out. (They are BHG from Wally's). I bought a $1 pack of clothespins and hot glued the punch out onto the end of the clothespin. I also wrote in the names of each color to help with name recognition. It's all tucked neatly in another drawstring bag. We've got a growing collection!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Busy Bag #2

I have another busy bag to share with you. This is a matching pattern/sequence activity. I grabbed some blocks we don't use and set about creating some pattern cards. I made a template and left the colors blank if you're interested in making some cards of your own. You can just fill in with markers/crayons to match whatever blocks you choose to use. Again, I used a simple drawstring bag for storage.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Busy Bag #1

Amidst the craziness that characterizes our life right now, my mind has been turning to the next stage confronting us: Preschool! Eliza is now 3 and a half and we are planning to homeschool. I believe she would benefit from some preschool activities, though, and am turning my attention to that. I've been busy making busy bags the last few days. There are TONS of great ideas out there, and lots of them are at very little cost.

This bag is a number matching one. She gave it a test drive today and it was a big hit. You can download my template here for cards numbered 1 through 12. (I jumbled the numbers so you can print on different colors of paper like I did). We used buttons from the stash, but round pasta or cheerios (at snack time!) would work great too. If my math is right, you'll need 78 to fill all the cards. Obviously, this should be supervised since it contains small pieces.
The bag was made from about half a fat quarter I had in my stash. It measures about 8 x 8" and is just a simple drawstring bag.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stash Busting

Well I must confess that the stash is getting out of control. 

 So I am going to be engaged in some serious stash busting in the next few weeks.  I don't think it actually qualifies as hoarding since it all in contained with in a closet, well, actually there is a bit of overflow, but it is all contained with in one room.J

Seriously, it seems that if you like to sew and knit you acquire a bit of a stash.  All of those impulse buys for a project that seemed to be calling your name but life happened after you left the store and the project never got finished.  Time passes and now you can't remember what you bought that nice little piece of fabric for.   This is just a view of one closet and not the boxes of patterns in in the other closet.  It is time for some serious stash busting.   I must admit it is kind of fun finding hidden treasures when some inspiration hits and it doesn't cost a dime.  The trouble is without some order it is hard to know what treasure you have.  I will be searching for stash busting ideas along with organizing ideas and sharing some of my finds here so join me; maybe you'll be inspired to do some stash busting of your own.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Messenger Bag

I revised the embroidery design for this one, making it a bit larger so the script is easier to read.  This one was a gift to my sister for her birthday.  Not sure which one I like better.  It makes me anxious to try some more embroidery designs. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Custom Chair Cover

Although the old office chair we had was functional for the sewing room, it really did not match.  I had a fun piece of fabric that matched the room color so well that I thought I needed to use it somewhere so I fashioned covers for the seat and back of the chair and I really love the change. 

I simply cut the pieces a bit larger than the cushion size and trimmed the edges with bias tape then inserted a ribbon for a draw string, gathered the edges to fit and tied a bow.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tenney Hat

When my 4 year old grandson was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his kidney in January of this year our whole family was in shock.  You see, my 18 year old grandson was diagnosed with a brain tumor only 6 months before that was also malignant.  We had just watched him go through all kinds of treatment from successful surgery to radiation and chemo.  He has had a lot of set backs with his recovery stemming from the surgery itself and the effects of some of the chemo drugs.  We were now facing watching another child go through cancer treatment and all that comes with it.  They are cousins so 2 of my daughters, Sylvia's sisters, are dealing with sick children while caring for the rest of their family.  With chemo taking most of his hair, the 4 year old needed some hats to wear when out in the sun this summer.  I found this "bucket" hat pattern on line and this is my 3rd, and best, attempt to fill the void for a comfortable, soft, and cool hat for a little boy.  Knit hats work fine for the Minnesota winters but summer can get rather warm here in the midwest.  His dad liked my choice of fabric for this one, the other two were more "little boy" looks.  I used the sleeve of an old t-shirt that I didn't wear anymore for the lining as the knit fabic would be soft against his skin.  I used a larger seam allowance for the top seam as I wanted it to be a little bit shorter for this one.  Doing what you can to make some difference when times are tough is comforting.  I can't fix all that is going on but a can make a small difference for a sweet little boy.  It has been fun to bring him a new hat when he is in the hospital along with an endless supply of stickers. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Graduation Messenger Bag

In keeping with the graduation theme I made this messenger bag for another graduate.  I think the size of the bag will be very versatile for any young lady.  Large enough for a small laptop it will easily carry supplies for college classes or a day out with girl friends.  Sylvia did some quick original artwork that we converted into embroidery to add a whimsical touch to the bag.  The line "I sing because I'm free" is from the hymn "His Eye is on the Sparrow".  This is for a young lady that plays the piano wonderfully and I know she will appreciate the musical reference.  The inside has pockets on both sides so she will have lots of room for accessories like cell phones and makeup.  I like the simple linen look with a colorful lining.  It gives the bag a classic but up to date style.  We will fill the bag with some goodies and of course some cash for this graduates future plans.  Best Wishes Anna!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Graduation Gift

We were invited to a graduation party for a wonderful young woman.  We have watched her grow from an infant into the precious young lady we she is today.  Although a gift of money was appropiate to help with her future plans I wanted to add something a little more personal so I set to work on this little purse and included a tissue cozy to match.  I attached pockets to the lining for an ID or cash card and tucked in a gift card.  Just a little something to for her to use long after the money is spent. 

 I didn't use a pattern and just made this up as I went and I think it turned out pretty cute.  Hope the new graduate thinks so too. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Stash

Following through on what I started, I am building up my stash making a number of tissue cozies adding a simple tag a Bible verse from Revelation 21:4 KJV "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."  I've passed a few on to friends who have helped me through some tough times.   Feels so good to complete a number of small projects and see the stash being used!  My stash has been growing for years and I am resolving to begin to use it up...or at least make use of some of those treasures.  I will be posting more stash busters soon. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I got a running start this week and have been baking lots and lots. I made bread the other day and yesterday I made two kinds of granola bars and a some granola-ish stuff (minus fiber cereal, added nuts, coconut and craisins).
Today I made chocolate chip muffins for the second time. I made these last weekend for house guests and they were a huge hit. I used this recipe with a couple mods (she has lots of great recipes on her site).

Kiddos put their stamp of approval on these.

Chocolate Chip Muffins via The Gluten Free Homemaker

reheat oven to 375°
3/4 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
3/4 c. potato starch
1 tsp. xantham gum
1 Tb. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. milk
1 c. chocolate chips
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In a smaller bowl combine the egg, vanilla,  and liquid.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until moistened.  Stir in the chocolate chips .  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I love bags...

 I love bags.  It always seems that no matter how many I have when I go to start a new knitting project they are all occupied!  This bag pattern, McCalls M5822 made a very nicely shaped bag and has sizes that will work for most of the project needs I have.

The smaller bag would make a great place to carry a sock knitting project and the largest will hold a sweater.  This medium bag has been gifted but I have a stash of this great print and need to get busy on another that I will selfishly keep for myself.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Tissue Cozy

We have been looking for easy projects that we can make for simple gifts to bless friends on birthdays or as a simple "thinking of you" gesture when a friend needs a hug.  These tissue holders were quick and really fun to make.  They were all made using fat quarters and scraps in my stash.  The Eiffel Tower print cozy was made using the free pattern at Skip to My Lou.  The flowered ones were made from the free pattern here.  I like how the lining is cut larger to make a trim at the opening. They fit the travel packs of tissues perfectly.  I'll be making a stash of these to hand out and at least one for myself!

Friday, April 27, 2012

One more year

I'm really not sure where this year went. I think each successive year of my life goes by faster than the last. We celebrated two birthdays last weekend and I dove right in again with invites and decorations and all that fun stuff. I'm working on getting some printables available, but still deciding the best way to do it. In the meantime, here are some pictures from the weekend.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


What I wish I was up to...

What I'm actually up to...

I'm sneaking in some tiny little crafting moments here and there, but don't have much to share yet. We'll be celebrating some pudgy birthdays in a couple weeks. I've been focusing much attention on that, but I'm getting ready to cut out a new dress in the next day or so. I also have a top secret knitting project underway. Lots of busy-ness around here. Speaking of which...